The Prodigal Franchise

By
Updated: September 27, 2017

An excerpt from the 5th chapter of Jobu

11 And the Commissioner said: A certain division had five franchises:

12 And the younger and less successful of them said to the Commissioner: Commish, give me the chance to shed the yoke of this difficult division. And the Commissioner divided the Leagues unto his substance.

13 And not many days after, the younger franchise, the Longshoremen,  gathering all together, went abroad into a far country called the Imperial League, and there wasted his substance, living riotously and spending like the drunkenest of sailors, on shiny baubles like Chris Long and Emilio Manuel.

14 And after he had spent all, there came a mighty budget crisis, and a record-setting offensive drought  in that league; and he began to be in want of hitters who could exceed the performance of a prophet named Mendoza.

15 And he went and cleaved to one of the more successful franchises of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine and to try to entice George Lee to sign a long-term contract.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat and the quality starts that Lee could fashion; and lo the Longshoremen finished the season with a .500 record.

Fighting for scraps in the IL

An Artist’s Rendering of the Seaboard Division Playoff Race

17 And returning to himself, he said: How many teams with .500 records in my father’s division finish 24 games out of first place and abound with fans, and I here perish with meaningless September baseball games?

18 I will arise, and will go to the Commissioner , and say to him: Commish, I have sinned against the Rodriguez Cup, and against Jobu, and against thee:

19 I am not worthy to be called a member of the Great Lakes Division: make me as one of thy hired servants, or even as a member of the Rising Sun Division, or, perish the thought, the World Independent League.

20 And rising up he came to the Commissioner. And when he was yet a great way off, the Commissioner saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.

21 And the Longshoremen’s GM and Team President said to him: Commissioner, I have sinned against heaven, and the Great Lakes Division, I am not now worthy to be called a PEBA Franchise.

22 And the Commissioner said to his managing Board: Bring forth quickly the league file, and switch the Longshoremen back to the Great Lakes Division, and see whether they can finally put a ring on their finger:

23 And bring hither a balanced schedule, and the fatted calf (not to be confused with Jose Aguilar), and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:

24 Because this franchise was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

25 Now the Sandgnats were in the field, and when the Sandgnats came and drew nigh to the house, they heard music and dancing:

26 And the Sandgnats Team President and GM called one of the Board Members, and asked what these things meant.

27 And the Board Member said to him: Thy brother franchise is come, and thy Commissioner hath developed a balanced schedule, because the Great Lakes Division hath received your brother franchise safe.

28 And he was angry, and would not go to the Winter Meetings. His commisioner therefore coming out began to entreat him.

29 And he answering, said to his commissioner: Behold, for so many seasons do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, nor asked to switch divisions and unlike that loser Longshoremen franchise, I have actually won the Rodriguez Cup, yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy prodigal franchise is come, who hath devoured his budget space with harlots and middle relievers, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

31 But the Commissioner said to him: Gnats, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine.

32 But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother franchise was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found (and don’t worry, he hath the ability to finish with a winning record only once per decade).